- Title: Protests after Hungary's leading leftist newspaper unexpectedly shuts
- Date: 8th October 2016
- Summary: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (OCTOBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) DEMONSTRATORS GATHERING IN FRONT OF PARLIAMENT WOMAN HOLDING UP ISSUE OF CLOSED LEFTIST NEWSPAPER NEPSZABADSAG WITH (Hungarian): 'PUTSCH' WRITTEN OVER FRONT PAGE DEMONSTRATORS GATHERED AT SQUARE BY PARLIAMENT HOLDING BANNER SHOWING MOCK PICTURES OF HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER, VIKTOR ORBAN, READING (Hungarian): 'WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? I WILL BE SOLDIER, ANTI-COMMUNIST, A BILLIONAIRE' DEMONSTRATORS HOLDING BANNER READING (Hungarian): 'ORBAN, [ORBAN'S CABINET CHIEF ANTAL] ROGAN, YOU ARE DEFENDING CRIMINALS' (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) PROTESTER, TAMAS WALDMANN, SAYING: "The free media is being suffocated. What we have in Hungary today is a real dictatorship, it is just called illiberal democracy." DEMONSTRATORS (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) PROTESTER, ERZSEBET KOVACS, SAYING: "I don't usually attend demonstrations because my blood pressure goes up, but now I felt I had to come. It is a shameful thing that is being done here. If they can do this with this newspaper then they can do it with anyone. They just cast their eye on somebody's house or anything and say this is ours. I say enough is enough." NEPSZABADSAG EDITOR, MIKLOS HARGITAI, SPEAKING INTO LOUDSPEAKER (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) NEPSZABADSAG EDITOR, MIKLOS HARGITAI, SAYING: "Our paper tried to control the powers. If you have seen the stories of recent days about Antal Rogan and [Hungarian central bank Governor Gyorgy] Matolcsy...(CROWD BOOING) I think this control function did work to some extent and I fear that the reason why there will be no Nepszabadsag from Monday is that this control probably worked too well." DEMONSTRATORS LISTENING BANNER READING (Hungarian): 'NEPSZABADSAG: THERE IS NO FREEDOM OF PRESS IN HUNGARY ANYMORE' DEMONSTRATORS BY PARLIAMENT LAST THREE ISSUES OF NEPSZABADSAG LAST ISSUE FRONT PAGE COVER READING (Hungarian): 'ORBAN IS NOT BOTHERED BY THE HELICOPTER TRIP' [OF ANTAL ROGAN] LAST ISSUE FRONT PAGE COVER WITH PHOTO SHOWING ORBAN AND ROGAN / COVER OF SECOND PART SHOWING PHOTO OF EARLIER DEMO WITH MOCK PICTURE OF ORBAN READING (Hungarian): 'WHAT HAVE I DONE YET AGAIN?'
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2016 19:19
- Keywords: protest newspaper media Hungary demonstration
- Location: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- City: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0015359VEV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A crowd of 2,000 people gathered at parliament Saturday (October 8) evening to protest against the shut-down of Hungary's leading leftist newspaper Nepszabadsag earlier in the day.
Its employees were suspended after the publication piled up significant losses despite recent cost cutting measures, owner Mediaworks said on Saturday (October 8).
Civil rights groups said the newspaper had been shut down because it had published stories critical of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government.
Mediaworks, owned by Austrian firm Vienna Capital Partners (VCP), said it was working on a new business model for Nepszabadsag (People's Freedom), which has been in publication since November 1956.
Employees, who received letters on Saturday (October 8) informing them of Mediawork's decision, said the closure had been unexpected.
The radical nationalist Jobbik opposition party blamed right-wing Orban for the closure, saying his Fidesz party wanted to control the entire Hungarian media.
In its final edition on Saturday (October 8), the newspaper reported the latest in its articles on Orban's chief of staff, Antal Rogan, using a helicopter to fly to a wedding.
Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said the government did not get involved in developments in the media industry. He said in emailed statement that in Hungary "press freedom is doing well."
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